I made these cakes for a fall dinner that I hosted for some girlfriends, and everyone loved them. I used large silicone muffin molds to make the individual cakes, but you could easily make one large cake too.

individual apple cakes, topped with creme fraîche ice cream and drizzled in salted bourbon caramel sauce...

I served these little beauties to some of my very good friends at our fall farm dinner. I love individual dessert, they make each person feel special, and they look so pretty on each plate. These are simply made in large silicone muffin molds. I like to use silicone because it’s easy to pop them right out, no parchment liner needed. The caramel is really easy, much more simple than a classic caramel, because it’s made with brown sugar instead of white. I love adding vanilla bean paste to it, but vanilla extract works well too. 

I made the creme fraîche ice cream the night before, and it was great, but it definitely needed to come to room temperature before serving. Once it warmed up it scooped beautifully. I’ll test the recipe again before sharing it, because it’s really simple and perfect for the holidays. 

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Spiced Apple Caked with Salted Bourbon Caramel Sauce

  • Author: carolinefey
  • Prep Time: 30 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Total Time: 50 min
  • Yield: 18 individual cakes 1x


These little cakes are really simple – the cake batter is made in one bowl with a whisk and rubber spatula, no mixer needed. The caramel sauce is equally easy, and can be made without bourbon if you prefer.


Units Scale

Salted Bourbon Caramel Sauce:

  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup salted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons Bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • flaky sea salt like Maldon for topping

Topping for Cakes:

  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose or gluten-free flour blend
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Spiced Apple Cakes:

  • 4 large apples, peeled and diced – I like Fuji, McIntosh or Honeycrisp
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup neutral oil – I like avocado oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour (520g)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Non-stick baking spray or more oil for brushing cupcake molds


Salted Bourbon Caramel Sauce:
Bring the brown sugar, butter, milk and salt to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer the mixture until the sugar has melted and the caramel has thickened. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla and bourbon. Be careful, it will sputter and steam. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Topping for Cakes:
Mix all of the ingredients together in a small bowl until crumbly. Set aside until the cake batter is ready.

Spiced Apple Cakes:
Toss the apples with ¼ cup sugar and set aside. In a large bowl, add the sugar, oil and eggs and whisk until smooth. Add the yogurt, vanilla, spiced and salt and whisk again. Add the flour, baking powder and soda and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. Add the apples and gently stir to incorporate. Spray or brush the inside of the molds and divide the batter equally. Top each cake with a few crumbles of topping and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the tops spring back when pushed, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool before unmolding.

To Serve:
Serve the cakes warm or room temperature with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a big drizzle of caramel sauce and a big pinch of flaky sea salt.



The cakes can be made into one large cake – you will have to adjust the cooking time by adding at least 15 minutes.

The caramel can be made days in advance and rewarmed right before serving.

If you don’t have a large silicone muffin pan like this one, you can use a large metal muffin mold, just make sure the line the bottom of each mold with a round of parchment after spraying.

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